Helion, Jean

Helion, Jean Biography

French painter who was noted for his abstract paintings.

Jean Helion initially studied engineering and architecture in Lille and then went to Paris, where he became interested in oil painting. After being introduced to Cubism in the mid-1920s, he adopted abstraction in his own oil painting. Helion became a leading figure in French nonobjective painting in the 1930s with his sophisticated compositions of large and oddly curving flat planes arranged in sequences against a background of flat colour. These oil paintings are notable for their subtle harmonies of cool and pastel colours and the mechanistic connotations of their monumental shapes. After World War II, Helion abandoned pure abstraction in his work. He began using figurative elements in his oil paintings and eventually became a somewhat mannered painter of scenes from everyday life.

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